Former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says employee empowerment is crucial to running a business.
The four principles of good leadership that helped save the nation’s last remaining CE chain
By Alan Wolf, YSN
Things were a lot different for Best Buy a decade ago.
At the time, the nation’s No. 1 electronics chain and Top 5 appliance retailer was racked by a CEO scandal, a proxy fight between the company’s founder and its board, and was losing sales, customers and market share by the bucketful to Amazon and a host of other online interlopers.
Indeed, industry observers and Wall Street investors had all but written off the Minneapolis-based business, pointing to its costly and unproductive real estate, its uncompetitive pricing, and its poorly functioning e-commerce operation. It was just a matter of time, they conjectured, before Best Buy would follow Highland, Circuit City, Silo and Ward’s into oblivion.
Enter new CEO Hubert Joly, a dapper turnaround specialist from France who cut costs, improved efficiencies, rebuilt the backend, overhauled the web business, and shared the real estate burden with vendors through branded in-store shops.
Joly handed off the retailer’s day-to-day reins in 2019 and parted company last year, leaving Best Buy a stronger, more viable, and in many ways a wholly reborn business that’s standing its ground against competitors.
In a recent online chat with the Harvard Business Review, Hubert shared four principles of sound leadership — all related to employee empowerment — that contributed to Best Buy’s dramatic turnaround. In a nutshell, those tenets are:
- The best candidate for a leadership position is not necessarily the most experienced one.
- Employees, rather than shareholders or even customers, should be your top concern. Listen to them and heed their advice.
- Inspire your employees to go the extra mile.
- Admit you don’t have all the answers and see No. 2.
You can watch the full discussion here on LinkedIn.